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Venezuelan opposition cracks could help Chavez CARACAS: Venezuela's multiple opposition parties took a decade to unite against President Hugo Chavez, but old strains are emerging again just as he could be forced from power by cancer.   The increasingly public tensions between moderates and radicals within the five-year-old Democratic Unity coalition play into the government's hands should Chavez fail to recover from the disease and a new presidential election be held.   "They're beating each other up. They have no respect for agreements, that's the opposition we have," gloated Congress head Diosdado Cabello, the third most powerful government figure after Chavez and Vice President Nicolas Maduro.   After years of in-fighting, election defeats and chaotic attempts to remove Chavez through street protests, an oil industry strike and even a brief coup, some 30 ideologically diverse political groups formed the opposition coalition in 2008.   It had an auspicious start, winning half the total vote in 2009 parliamentary elections. Then it stayed united - and ...

Brazil police probe if club fire evidence hidden   SANTA MARIA: A police probe into a nightclub fire in Brazil that killed 231 people and left dozens in critical condition turned Tuesday to whether key evidence has been hidden.   Authorities have taken four suspects into custody following the tragedy early Sunday at the Kiss discotheque in the southern college town of Santa Maria, described as the second worst inferno in the country's history.   Those detained Monday include two owners of the club and a pair of ...
Brazil arrests four as first fire victims buried SANTA MARIA: Police in Brazil arrested four suspects Monday after a nightclub fire killed 231, left dozens more clinging to life and forced officials to defend readiness for the Olympics and World Cup.   Two owners of the Kiss club were arrested, along with a pair of musicians who starred in the ill-fated pyrotechnic show blamed for sparking Sunday's tragedy in the university town of Santa Maria in the south of the country.   President Dilma Rousseff pressed mayors ...
Colombia central bank may cut interest rate BOGOTA: Colombia's central bank may cut its key interest rate on Monday for a third straight month as the government piles pressure on policymakers to protect the economy from a global slowdown that has hurt growth.   The board could reduce its overnight lending rate by a quarter point to 4 percent after weakness in the industrial and export sectors sparked concern the economy is stalling.   Strong capital inflows have boosted the value of the currency against the ...
LatAm leaders hear message from Chavez SANTIAGO: Venezuelan Vice President Nicolas Maduro on Monday read out a message from cancer-stricken President Hugo Chavez to a summit of Latin American leaders in Chile.   In his message, Chavez, who is undergoing treatment in Havana and has not been seen in public for weeks, hailed Cuba for its assumption of the presidency of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States.   "Latin America and the Caribbean are telling the United States with a single voice that ...
Police arrest Brazil club owner after inferno: official SANTA MARIA: Police have arrested an owner of a Brazilian nightclub where 231 people were killed in a blaze early Sunday that survivors said was set off by a musical group's pyrotechnics, a police official said Monday.   Two members of the musical group also were arrested, and an arrest warrant was issued for another owner of the club, Kiss, said police official Michele Vimmerman. "There were three temporary detentions," Vimmermann said.   Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2013 ...
European, Latin American leaders close trade summit SANTIAGO: European and Latin American leaders wrapped up a two-day summit here Sunday, pledging to reinvigorate their "strategic partnership" for expanded free trade while shunning protectionism.   But the high-profile meeting attended by some 60 countries from both continents was overshadowed by a nightclub fire that killed at least 232 people in Brazil and forced President Dilma Rousseff to cut short her visit.   "It's a tragedy for all of us, and I cannot continue here at the summit, ...


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ICT 2014

Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-999 mln
Exports $2.064 bln
Imports $3.063 bln
WeeklyApril 16, 2015
Reserves $16.818 bln